Ex-Blockbuster CEO Named Rave Cinemas Chairman19 Aug, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
John Antioco named chairman of Rave Cinemas, replacing Charles Moss who remains a member of the board of the Dallas-based theater chain
John Antioco, former CEO and chairman of Blockbuster Inc., has been named chairman of Rave Cinemas, the ninth largest theater operator in the country.
Antioco, who headed Dallas-based Blockbuster for nearly 10 years until being replaced by Jim Keyes in 2007, has been a member of Rave’s board since February.
Rave, which operates 61 theaters and 920 screens, is headed by former Walmart executive Rolando Rodriguez.
During his Blockbuster tenure, Antioco helped grow the rental icon’s revenue from $3.3 billion to $6 billion. He was instrumental in the launch of Blockbuster Total Access, the online rental platform that allowed users to exchange discs in stores for new titles without charge.
Critics will say that Antioco failed to understand the burgeoning threat of Netflix, which in its infancy actually approached Blockbuster about being acquired. The executive also was saddled with the perception that he encouraged late-fee charges on movie rentals as a source of incremental revenue. Late fees, or lack thereof, helped Netflix launch its pioneer online disc rental subscription program in 1999.
Since his departure from Blockbuster, Antioco has been chairman of a group that owns the largest franchise stake in Friendly’s restaurants.
“Rave is well-positioned to continue leading innovation in the industry, and I am looking forward to working closely with Rolando and his team,” Antioco said in a statement.